You will love this beautifully fragrant and gently spiced plum dish, the star anise and cinnamon beautifully complementing the natural sweetness of the plums. It is quickly and easily prepared; you can have it on the table in 30 minutes.
Wash the plums well and cut them in half following the natural indentation in the plum. Remove the stone.
Combine the plums, sugar, water, balsamic vinegar, star anise, cinnamon sticks and orange peel in a medium-size saucepan over low-medium heat.
Slowly bring to the boil, stirring gently, until the sugar has dissolved.
Cover the saucepan and cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes* or until the plums are soft and just cooked. The length of cooking time will depend on the ripeness of your plums.
When cooked, remove the star anise, cinnamon and orange peel. Gently transfer the plums to a heatproof serving bowl to stop the plums from cooking further.
Serve them warm, at room temperature or chilled with a little of the poaching liquid. There are further serving suggestions in the notes section.
Serve the Poached Spiced Plums with our Vanilla Ice Cream or Greek yoghurt.
For textural contrast, serve with toasted, slivered almonds.
*Plums come in a range of colours. My preference is for a darker skinned plum. When serving, it is more aesthetically pleasing and the vibrant colour of the skin contains more anti-oxidants. However, if only pale-skinned plums are available, these will also taste delicious.
*My preference is for caster/superfine sugar as it dissolves quicker than granulated sugar.
*I add just a little water to encourage them to release their natural juices and to stop them from catching whilst the sugar is dissolving.
*Remove the strips of orange peel using a vegetable peeler, being careful to avoid the bitter, white pith.
*My plums were quite firm and they took 15 minutes to cook so you will you need to time yours according to their ripeness. If yours are fully ripe, they may only take a few minutes.